PREMIER leaders Heathcoat slipped up at Torquay where the relegation worriers beat them by 51 runs.
Torquay, who have spent most of the season in the bottom two, showed signs of a revival by beating North Devon last time out.
Defeating another side struggling to stay up is one thing; overcoming the divisional leaders by a distance is another thing altogether, which is why the result was a shock.
Torquay skipper George Allen backed his side to put a total on the board by batting first and led the way himself with a top score of 79 in a total of 247 for nine.
Along the way for Allen and Torquay were stands of 84 with Elliot Moses (48), 55 with Mitchell Pugh (28) and 40 with Chris Kelmere (28).
Christian Cabburn (4-35) fractionally out-bowled Malcolm Cloete (3-47) for Heathcoat.
Heathcoat were solid rather than spectacular to begin with as Rob Holman (41) and Peter Randerson (31) opened up with 61.
Liam Lewis (31) and Cloete (49) kept the board ticking over, but no one went on to make a match-turning 70 or 80. Torquay spinner Chris Kelmere (4-30) kept the pressure on.
The beginning of the end was the dismissal of Jamie Drew by James Degg (3-22). Drew was the first of the last five wickets to fall to Sonny Baker (2-14) and Neal Osborn (2-27) as Heathcoat went from 175 for five to 196 all out.
Winning captain Allen said calling correctly at the toss made a huge difference to the outcome.
“Fortunate to win a critical toss when batting second was always going to be problematic,” said Allen.
“Deggy and Elliot set a good foundation again, allowing the rest of the team to accumulate a decent total.
“Chris Kelmere was the pick of our bowlers on a spin-friendly deck and it was great to see Sonny Baker finish off their tail.
“We aren’t going to get to carried away with our win on Saturday as we need to stay focused on Sandford next and try to pull away from the drop zone.”
Heathcoat are still top by five points and had a stroke of good fortune as second-placed Paignton also lost.
That could change for better or worse this Saturday as Heathcoat entertain Paignton at Knightshayes.